Friday, January 18, 2013

Based on a True Story - Horror Documentaries

I loves me a good documentary. And as I'm sure you've guessed from this blog I also have a passing interest horror films. So what could be better than a horror documentary?! Nothing. The answer is nothing.

There are a few superb entries that I want to tackle. Some more famous than others but they all deserve a watch. They are fascinating portraits of the film industry and the people who create the things that go bump in the night.

Never Sleep Again: The Nightmare On Elm Street Legacy (2010)

I bought this before I'd seen it and it currently my most borrowed DVD.When I initially tell people about this documentary their eyes glaze over as I extol the virtues of a 4+ hour documentary about the Nightmare on Elm Street Series. But after about 30 minutes they're sucked into the details and unbelievable story about how New Line Studios churned our movie after movie.  It's a fantastic look at one of the most successful franchises ever and the people who sold their souls to make it that big.

Nightmare Factory (2011)

A look behind the scenes of one of the biggest special effects companies out there, KNB Effects. From their beginning working on Evil Dead 2 (1987) they have grown by leaps and bounds working with everyone from Frank Darabont to Quentin Tarantino. It's a in depth look at the changes the film industry has adopted in the past few decades from technological advances to the reliance on CGI..

Zombie Girl (2009)

I think this is one of the sweetest documentaries I've ever seen. Zombie Girl follows Emily Hagins, a 12 year old set on making her first zombie film. Filled with the trial and tribulations of a Judy Blume novel, the film is a great look at the questions that surround the desire to make and tell stories.

Best Worst Movie (2009)

A documentary about the enduring legacy of Troll 2 (1990) this film veers between see it to believe it type stuff and the sad life of the American Dream. While all those involved with Troll 2 limped away from the disaster of a film, through midnight screenings and a VHS audience Troll 2 took on a life of its own. The sad part of the documentary is where some of the actors have found themselves. While some enjoy the notoriety it has given them, other are shells of their former selves. Which is I guess the effect of a troll.

Fear in the Dark (1991)

The oldest documentary on this list is a little basic but comes at an interesting time in the horror genre. The early 90s a strange time for horror movies as there wasn't a huge trend. There were some great movies made, but none really and truly stuck in the public's consciousness like say The Exorcist or Scream. Fear in the Dark is a great refresher on what has come before contemporary horror.

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